History of Thelwall and Laskey Farm
In the tenth century Thelwall was a frontier town, its situation south of the river Mersey was at a crossing point guarded by a fort constructed of wooden posts or fells (hence Thelwall).
The Danes occupied the lands to the north with the Saxons holding Thelwall and the lands to the south of the Mersey .
Thelwall's existence was first officially recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of AD923 when King Edward the Elder is said to have ordered “the burgh at ThelWael” to be repaired and manned as a defence against the Danes and Northumbrians.
This account can been seen on the gable end of the 17th century Pickering Arms pub in the village centre (situated 400yards down the public footpath from Laskey Farm or 600 yards via the Laskey Lane bridleway)
Laskey Lane originally ran down to the River Mersey and over a wooden bridge across to Woolston and Warrington, the name Laskey is thought to be a shortening of Last Quay which refers to the fact that it was once the furthest navigable point up the Mersey from Liverpool.
The first recorded fishing rights were granted to the Abbot of Evesham for three shillings by Sir Geoffrey Dutton in 1068.
In 1749 a record nineteen pound salmon was caught at Last Quay bridge. A 16th century salmon fisher's home and smoke house still stands on Ferry Lane .
Laskey Lane fell into disuse in the 1890's with the cutting of the Manchester Ship Canal which re-routed the Mersey to the north and made the bridge obsolete (the rotted posts of the old bridge are still visible in the Mersey). The Canal is crossed by a penny ferry located in Ferry Lane at the end of the Laskey footpath.
In 2001 the Councillor Mawer approached the Platt family on behalf of Warrington Borough Council and with the help of a £40,000 grant the southern part of Laskey Lane leading to the canal was restored as a permissive bridleway. This means that horse riders are now able to access the picturesque canal banks and it has become a further amenity for the Laskey Farm resident businesses.
Laskey Farm was originally part of the large Stanton Estate (the Stanton Manor House is now Chaigeley School) and was constructed in the mid 1700s. The farm buildings predate the house and recent building work has revealed the existence of a smaller farmhouse on the site of the current building.
The farm was occupied as a tenant by John Cooke (the present owner's Great Grandfather) until 1928 when his son-in-law George Platt purchased it for £1,000 from the Stanton family.
Laskey Farm operated as a working farm until the 1950's when Arthur Platt started the process of developing the farm buildings as commercial premises.
Reminders of the farming past are everywhere with the surviving buildings, as far as possible, being named after their original uses.
Of particular interest is an oak beam located in the Buttery that bears the meticulously carved date 1672 and the initial WM, the building was constructed in the mid 1700s and the discrepancy in dates explained by the fact that old oak built ships were once brought up the Mersey to be broken up for valuable building timbers.
In the main farmyard was located the dung heap (or Midden to use its original Cheshire name) the Midden has long gone but the tank located underneath to collect the liquid manure is still there, topped with hand cut stone sets. The present owners have constructed a mock “well” over the corner of the tank - please do not drink the water !
All of the original farm buildings once had the sandstone roofs common throughout 17th century Cheshire , these were extremely thick heavy slabs and only one such roof at Laskey Farm now remains.
The roof of the Barley Store and the Buttery was renovated in 2001 and the unique character of this typical Cheshire building material preserved.
Next to the entrance of the Shippon ( Cheshire name for cattle barn) are two cattle troughs each carved from a single piece of sandstone.These are the only surviving Laskey Farm troughs and are well over two hundred years old. The present owner remembers his father selling off about thirty of these troughs in the 1960s for £6 each !!.
Laskey Farm Limited
Laskey Lane, Lymm Road
E Mail: Howard@LaskeyFarm.com